A miniature horse New Plymouth police believed was stolen has been found dead.
Hawk, a 2-year-old, palomino pinto gelding went missing from a property in Bell Block sometime after 5pm on February 21.
A police spokeswoman previously told the Herald police had investigated the scene and conducted forensic inquiries.
It appeared as though the horse was in an enclosed space and had been stolen, the spokeswoman said.
According to a page created on Facebook by owner Ayla Mcgowan to aid the search for Hawk, the horse has since been found dead.
"It's with sadness we've learned Hawk has been found and had crossed the rainbow bridge. RIP sweetheart," said the post, which has since been deleted.
"The fact that Hawk has been found deceased is enough and out of respect for his family who are mourning his loss, we ask you refrain from asking questions and just accept that he is sadly no longer here."
The death follows that of another miniature horse, Star, which had to be euthanised after being stabbed more than 40 times in a "horrific attack" in Waititi, Otago last month.
Star, a 10-year-old calf-sized horse, was found with stab wounds, including one near the jugular, in his paddock following the midnight attack in the small seaside suburb.
One of the stab wounds punctured Star's bowel and the horse had to be put down despite five hours of surgery. Police are investigating.